Credit products you can complain about
AFCA can consider complaints from consumers about credit products including:
- Credit cards: Credit cards are a form of short‐term finance, allowing goods and services to be purchased sooner, even if at greater cost than if you had to save up for them.
- Interest‐free finances: Credit for interest-free loans is usually provided by a finance company through the retail outlet. Some of these finance companies provide a credit card as part of the credit contract. If used outside any 'interest free' promotion then interest and charges will generally accrue in the same way as other credit cards. But the interest rates for credit cards issued by finance companies are usually higher than those offered by other types of lenders.
- Lines of credit/overdrafts: A line of credit allows you to make the bulk of your purchases or payments through a credit card with an interest-free period. You use the credit card for most purchases, which allows you to leave the bulk of your wage in the loan until your credit card account is payable. This slightly reduces the balance of the home loan debt for part of the month and, therefore, slightly reduces the interest payable.
- Hire purchase/leases: Buying goods by instalment payments. The 'hirer' has the use of the goods while paying for them, but does not become the owner until all instalments have been paid.
Finance products you can complain about
Types of finance products AFCA can consider complaints about include:
- Short‐term finance: Short-term finance refers to the act of seeking or finding sources of monetary funds for a period of time of less than one year. For example, project managers may seek short‐term finance for unexpected expenses.
If you are a small business, there is specific information about business credit and loans on the Information for Small Businesses page.
Loan products you can complain about
Types of loans AFCA can consider complaints about include:
- Construction loans: Short‐term (usually three years) real estate financing secured by a mortgage generally on the property being financed or your current home. This loan is meant to cover the cost of land development and building construction, and is paid out as needed, as each stage is completed according to a prearranged schedule, or when some condition is met.
- Personal loans: A type of loan available from banks, finance companies and other financial institutions, generally for purposes such as buying a car, boat or furniture.
- Home loans (also called mortgages): The funds a buyer borrows (usually from a bank or other credit provider) to purchase a property; generally secured by a registered mortgage to the bank or other credit provider over the property being purchased.
- Equity releases (also known as a reverse mortgage or lifetime mortgage): A loan to homeowners that allows them to access a portion of the equity value in their home. No repayments are required while the borrower(s) remain(s) in their property. Interest and fees accrue on the loan and the loan is repayable in full when the last surviving borrower permanently vacates the home or the home is sold.
- Margin loans: A type of loan available from various financial institutions, allowing investors to borrow cash against the value of listed shares or units in managed funds or against their home.
- Investment property loans: The funds a buyer borrows (usually from a bank or other financial institution) to purchase an investment property. The loan is generally secured by a registered mortgage to the lender over the investment property.
Guarantees relating to debts
AFCA also considers complaints about guarantees relating to debts, including:
- Bank guarantees: A type of guarantee in which a bank or other lending organisation promises to repay the liabilities of a debtor if the debtor is unable to.
- Business guarantees: A guarantee offered by a company or an individual who is usually the director of the company as security for the borrowings of a business.